It cost £5,215 to kill each badger during the 2013 culls, according to official government figures reported in the Daily Telegraph recently.

That is 1,879 dead badgers in the two west of England cull zones at a cost of £9.8million.

This action is taken in the face of a rising deficit and an ailing NHS.

It is uncertain what proportion were actually infected with TB, but estimates go as high as 20 per cent.

This means that this government has just spent about £26,000 to kill each infected badger.

Aside from the moral question of killing about 1,500 badgers to get to an approximate 376 which may have been infected, there is overwhelming scientific evidence that culling is ultimately ineffective.

Surely even those most in favour of this can now see that this policy makes no economic sense and that the only humane and long-term solution is a better testing and bio security regime, and badger vaccination.

JANE ALTOUNYAN, Ashbourne Road, Bournemouth